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Academy Licensing (2022 - 27) - (Merged threads)


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7 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

See Double D’s post above your own mate.  

It doesn’t stop any of those you mention from running Academies.  It doesn’t monopolise anything other than, I imagine, funding.  It doesn’t prevent the best players going either.  If Leigh have good, enthusiastic coaches that are passionate and determined to develop kids, there is no reason that they cannot can still do that.

 

It doesn't matter how much investment is put into a college team, or how many great coaches they have involved, if the playing pool is limited to who is signed up to the college and they are limited to playing fixtures against local 6th form teams. I don't know if you've ever played in the college leagues(I have), but the quality is vastly inferior even to amateur leagues. It's essentially a series of friendlies, if the matches take place at all(a lot of colleges put very little emphasis on their sporting programs and player availability is a constant issue).

 

Everyone focuses on the funding aspect, but they neglect the full wording from the RFLs own operational rules. It is a 'funding and participation' agreement to be awarded a Cat 1 license, meaning competitive fixtures are ringfenced.

 

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7 minutes ago, dboy said:

That wasn't the main feedback at all.

They have a very poor set-up, very limited investment, poor welfare and education and are ranked BOTTOM in production of professional players.

That's funny, because this is the second paragraph of their statement. Maybe you should get in touch with Castleford to let them know your feedback?

The early feedback given as to the reasons that Castleford Tigers has not been awarded an Elite Academy Licence is due to a large number of clubs in a small geographical location, and that since 2014 the Club has been bottom of the league for producing First Team players.

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2 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

The RFL haven’t been doing their job in some instances.  I’ve already said, the number one objective is to get young players into pro rugby league.  If clubs aren’t achieving that, then their system or the audit has not conformed which should’ve been highlighted in audit reports.  Many academies were getting top marks but still not producing players.  Clubs should refer back to these reports if they are unhappy as there might just be evidence that this wasn’t picked up.

 

Unless the future criteria for membership in Super League just happens, by the sheerest coincidence to include having a top flight Academy side, which amazingly even more coincidentally happens before you can apply for the next round?

The sentence above could turn out to be perfectly true or might belong in the conspiracy thread, then again cash strapped sports can make crazy short sighted decisions and lose more than they gain.

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2 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

It doesn't matter how much investment is put into a college team, or how many great coaches they have involved, if the playing pool is limited to who is signed up to the college and they are limited to playing fixtures against local 6th form teams. I don't know if you've ever played in the college leagues(I have), but the quality is vastly inferior even to amateur leagues. It's essentially a series of friendlies, if the matches take place at all(a lot of colleges put very little emphasis on their sporting programs and player availability is a constant issue).

 

Everyone focuses on the funding aspect, but they neglect the full wording from the RFLs own operational rules. It is a 'funding and participation' agreement to be awarded a Cat 1 license, meaning competitive fixtures are ringfenced.

 

Yes, I know what the clause is and the gravity of that should’ve been made clear by auditors in their report.  Problem for Leigh is maybe a lack of time.

I wish I had been playing in the colleges Rob, instead of playing against men and getting the carp knocked out of me at a young age!

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1 minute ago, LeytherRob said:

and that since 2014 the Club has been bottom of the league for producing First Team players.

Interesting that but suppose the criteria was the comparison of the number you've had on your books against those who didn't make it or the number who left the sport altogether.

 

 

 

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Ridiculous decision framework in the first place, resulting in ridiculous decision. Looking at the decline in rugby player participation, and totally misunderstanding the cause & effect impact of academies. Just pathetic. 

 

1. It’s all come down to number of Academy spaces vs. current youth/community player pool. That’s based on the backwards assumption that academies strip the community game of talent, whereas the issue is upstream - not enough young talent is coming in at the top of the funnel. If anything academies help mitigate that by being an attractor, the pathway to play for your local team incentivising kids to start and/or stay engaged. Demand creates supply, the RFL should be pleased an additional club like ours wants to invest in expanding demand.

 

2. This decision basically says that no Hull child can have a planned pathway to play for Hull KR professionally, and we would have to live on Hull FC cast-offs. The college comp won’t be comparable, so the best talent will go to FC. If I was a youth player even I would, and I’m a bloke who refuses to eat mint humbugs or visit zoos with zebras on principle. That gives FC a structural performance advantage in a geographic market we compete in for talent, supporters and commercial partnerships. Would Everton tolerate being told they can’t operate an Academy because Liverpool have the exclusive rights to one in that city? Do me a favour! 

 

The RFL can prove what they like about the validity of the assessment criteria, I’m sure Hull FC have performed better in the past and might still have a better plan. But all that does is provide the right answer to the wrong question... the whole concept is backwards! 

 

If Rovers now reduce the size and scale of their community and youth player pathway investment, a lot of which involves working with schools and community clubs to expand Rugby League’s market outreach, how does that help grow participation and the player pool locally? Idiotic 

 

And for clarity, I’d say exactly the same thing if they’d awarded only one spot in Hull to Rovers, albeit the anger would be less personal. 

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15 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

Yes, I know what the clause is and the gravity of that should’ve been made clear by auditors in their report.  Problem for Leigh is maybe a lack of time.

I wish I had been playing in the colleges Rob, instead of playing against men and getting the carp knocked out of me at a young age!

To give you an idea of what the leagues are like, here is the table for the NW division 1 in the last completed season before Covid. Top 4 you've got the Cat 3's for Wigan, Wire, Salford and Leigh respectively, then below you've got a set of uninterested colleges and 6th forms that pay nothing more than lip service to the competition(if at all as you can see from the 2 teams that didn't fulfill a single fixture). For the pro clubs, you've essentially got 3 semi competitive fixtures a season.

image.png.00ef1cc278f17bb7772a7bbf9217eada.png

The problem with a lot of the other colleges(I played for Winstanley in the late 2000's) is that Wednesday afternoon (when classes end early to allow for sports and extra curricular activities) is the only contact time a lot of these teams have, so they only tended to train when not playing a match. For the Cat 3's they will obviously do extra sessions under the guidance of their pro club affiliates but when the standard of opposition is so poor/unorganized it offers nothing to the actual development as players.

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19 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

It doesn't matter how much investment is put into a college team, or how many great coaches they have involved, if the playing pool is limited to who is signed up to the college and they are limited to playing fixtures against local 6th form teams. I don't know if you've ever played in the college leagues(I have), but the quality is vastly inferior even to amateur leagues. It's essentially a series of friendlies, if the matches take place at all(a lot of colleges put very little emphasis on their sporting programs and player availability is a constant issue).

 

Everyone focuses on the funding aspect, but they neglect the full wording from the RFLs own operational rules. It is a 'funding and participation' agreement to be awarded a Cat 1 license, meaning competitive fixtures are ringfenced.

 

Isn’t the idea of partnering up colleges and clubs to raise the standards at college level? 

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Just now, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Isn’t the idea of partnering up colleges and clubs to raise the standards at college level? 

See my post above on the standard of opposition at college level

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1 minute ago, LeytherRob said:

To give you an idea of what the leagues are like, here is the table for the NW division 1. Top 4 you've got the Cat 3's for Wigan, Wire, Salford and Leigh respectively, then below you've got a set of uninterested colleges and 6th forms that pay nothing more than lip service to the competition(if at all as you can see from the 2 teams that didn't fulfill a single fixture). For the pro clubs, you've essentially got 3 semi competitive fixtures a season.

image.png.00ef1cc278f17bb7772a7bbf9217eada.png

The problem with a lot of the other colleges(I played for Winstanley in the late 2000's) is that Wednesday afternoon (when classes end early to allow for sports and extra curricular activities) is the only contact time a lot of these teams have, so they only tended to train when not playing a match. For the Cat 3's they will obviously do extra sessions under the guidance of their pro club affiliates but when the standard of opposition is so poor/unorganized it offers nothing to the actual development as players.

Even bottom placed John Rigby won a game and have an average score of 28 - 10. Granted some of them are walkovers but every other club has a better points difference than them suggesting games are relatively close ish and not massive one sided score lines. 

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Apparently Hull KR briefed their scholarship players this afternoon, and next Weds may well be their last game. Academy team to follow, I expect a similar outcome.
 

Well done everyone at the RFL, well done... imagine being in one of those young lads’ living rooms with their parents this evening. Sickening. 

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16 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:


Apparently Hull KR briefed their scholarship players this afternoon, and next Weds may well be their last game. Academy team to follow, I expect a similar outcome.
 

Well done everyone at the RFL, well done... imagine being in one of those young lads’ living rooms with their parents this evening. Sickening. 

It might be sickening but if they aren't the required standard then that's just how it goes

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49 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

See my post above on the standard of opposition at college level

 

51 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

To give you an idea of what the leagues are like, here is the table for the NW division 1 in the last completed season before Covid. Top 4 you've got the Cat 3's for Wigan, Wire, Salford and Leigh respectively, then below you've got a set of uninterested colleges and 6th forms that pay nothing more than lip service to the competition(if at all as you can see from the 2 teams that didn't fulfill a single fixture). For the pro clubs, you've essentially got 3 semi competitive fixtures a season.

image.png.00ef1cc278f17bb7772a7bbf9217eada.png

The problem with a lot of the other colleges(I played for Winstanley in the late 2000's) is that Wednesday afternoon (when classes end early to allow for sports and extra curricular activities) is the only contact time a lot of these teams have, so they only tended to train when not playing a match. For the Cat 3's they will obviously do extra sessions under the guidance of their pro club affiliates but when the standard of opposition is so poor/unorganized it offers nothing to the actual development as players.

Maybe there should be an u17/u18 inter town competition for the best players who haven't signed for an academy. Games could be played once a month so it doesn't disrupt the community game too much. 

This would be a good standard for these players to test themselves and some might even get picked up for reserves or Championship and League 1 clubs

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1 hour ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

Ridiculous decision framework in the first place, resulting in ridiculous decision. Looking at the decline in rugby player participation, and totally misunderstanding the cause & effect impact of academies. Just pathetic. 

 

1. It’s all come down to number of Academy spaces vs. current youth/community player pool. That’s based on the backwards assumption that academies strip the community game of talent, whereas the issue is upstream - not enough young talent is coming in at the top of the funnel. If anything academies help mitigate that by being an attractor, the pathway to play for your local team incentivising kids to start and/or stay engaged. Demand creates supply, the RFL should be pleased an additional club like ours wants to invest in expanding demand.

 

2. This decision basically says that no Hull child can have a planned pathway to play for Hull KR professionally, and we would have to live on Hull FC cast-offs. The college comp won’t be comparable, so the best talent will go to FC. If I was a youth player even I would, and I’m a bloke who refuses to eat mint humbugs or visit zoos with zebras on principle. That gives FC a structural performance advantage in a geographic market we compete in for talent, supporters and commercial partnerships. Would Everton tolerate being told they can’t operate an Academy because Liverpool have the exclusive rights to one in that city? Do me a favour! 

 

The RFL can prove what they like about the validity of the assessment criteria, I’m sure Hull FC have performed better in the past and might still have a better plan. But all that does is provide the right answer to the wrong question... the whole concept is backwards! 

 

If Rovers now reduce the size and scale of their community and youth player pathway investment, a lot of which involves working with schools and community clubs to expand Rugby League’s market outreach, how does that help grow participation and the player pool locally? Idiotic 

 

And for clarity, I’d say exactly the same thing if they’d awarded only one spot in Hull to Rovers, albeit the anger would be less personal. 

Say what you like but Hull KR have been taking the p when it comes to youth development and have been lucky to have been continually funded to have an academy to this stage. There was a reason they merged. Even they recognised it, hence the recent restructure but it’s come too late. Get your house in order and have another go in 2024

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1 hour ago, Smudger06 said:

Effectively that could mean 26 Academies. There are only a finite amount of well ran Amateur Clubs operating U15 and U16 sides to Scout prospects from. For 26 Academies you'd be needing 100+ quality Amateur Clubs fielding sides at all age groups....

I don't think all championship clubs aspire to get into Super League for obvious reasons. Our game at grass roots level has been of the slide for a while now and it is something the RFL and the clubs at all levels need to address. For starters getting more schools playing out game

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You know what, Wakey aren't one of the RFLs pets - If the Wakey and Cas bids were anything like close, Cas would have got the place.

Just how bad must the Cas situation be??

Their academy set-up is a shambles, from what I hear.

Wakefield's is excellent.

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Even bottom placed John Rigby won a game and have an average score of 28 - 10. Granted some of them are walkovers but every other club has a better points difference than them suggesting games are relatively close ish and not massive one sided score lines. 

Look at the difference between the points difference for the cat 3 academies and the rest. It tells you all you need to know.

As I've said in other posts, I know what it's like in that league because I played in it. For colleges like Winstanley the sports program is nothing more to them than the couple of paragraphs in their enrollment brochure. It's a purely academic college and their sole priority is hoovering up the brightest students they can within a 20 mile radius to boost their numbers for successful Oxbridge applicants. We fulfilled at best 40% of our fixtures and it only looks to have gotten worse since i left from a RL standpoint.

 

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42 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

It might be sickening but if they aren't the required standard then that's just how it goes

You’re missing the point mate. This reduces participation levels, the opposite of the stated objective. How would you know whether pre-academy scholarship players are going to be good enough? We need as many people in the funnel as possible, that’s the whole point of the pathway and narrowing a path doesn’t directly equate to improved quality. 

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39 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Say what you like but Hull KR have been taking the p when it comes to youth development and have been lucky to have been continually funded to have an academy to this stage. There was a reason they merged. Even they recognised it, hence the recent restructure but it’s come too late. Get your house in order and have another go in 2024

This isn’t a club issue, so take park your dull club commentary for 5 seconds, it’s a player opportunity issue: If the RFL removed or reduced central funding (which only contributes to cost, it doesn’t fund the programme) but still allowed clubs to participate self-funded then you may have half a point. That’s not what has happened though... some clubs have been barred from running academies that can enter competitions against other academies (whether funded or not).
 

This likely reduces overall participation, the number of players in the sport’s elite pathway, and reduces overall ££££ investment in youth development for our sport because the RFL contribution triggered additional club owner investment in youth development. 

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50 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Say what you like but Hull KR have been taking the p when it comes to youth development and have been lucky to have been continually funded to have an academy to this stage. There was a reason they merged. Even they recognised it, hence the recent restructure but it’s come too late. Get your house in order and have another go in 2024

If having an academy team was part of the criteria for being in Super League i think it would focus clubs mind more and not just pay lip service to Junior development.

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6 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

You’re missing the point mate. This reduces participation levels, the opposite of the stated objective. How would you know whether pre-academy scholarship players are going to be good enough? We need as many people in the funnel as possible, that’s the whole point of the pathway and narrowing a path doesn’t directly equate to improved quality. 

I'm not missing the point. I do see both sides of the argument. Most kids in the scholarship won't be good enough otherwise they would all progress to the first team. Narrowing the pathway to focus on the best players should increase the quality as there won't be as many players in each team who aren't up to the standard.

I'm not sure how it would decrease participation. If there aren't as many getting picked up by academies then hopefully there will be more u17/u18 teams at community level

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The sport is almost certainly sleep walking to its demise.

Seeing one of the names mentioned, risibly involved in 'participation' when a certain club also failed to complete one whole season,the sport deserves all it gets.Which ain't a lot.

Good that there 5 pages - perhaps the journalists can get the full S.P. on what the future holds - and what is required to turn the tide.

I don't think 5 pages were reached after this - https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/sheffield-eagles-was-my-life-says-devastated-teen-reserve-side-axed-65136

And this - https://www.totalrl.com/keighley-heartbroken-by-reserve-grade-rejection/

Nothing for Cumbria and Wales...How the sport has thrived after 125 years...

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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17 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

The sport is almost certainly sleep walking to its demise.

Seeing one of the names mentioned, risibly involved in 'participation' when a certain club also failed to complete one whole season,the sport deserves all it gets.Which ain't a lot.

Good that there 5 pages - perhaps the journalists can get the full S.P. on what the future holds - and what is required to turn the tide.

I don't think 5 pages were reached after this - https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/sheffield-eagles-was-my-life-says-devastated-teen-reserve-side-axed-65136

And this - https://www.totalrl.com/keighley-heartbroken-by-reserve-grade-rejection/

Nothing for Cumbria and Wales...How the sport has thrived after 125 years...

Scrapping the old u20s/reserves below SL was a joke of a decision fueled by lazy SL clubs looking to outsource their player development to the championship in the form of DR and even lazier championship clubs looking for a shortcut to success.

Looking back at the last squad at Leigh before the league fell apart, it contained:

Joe Bullock(Wigan)

Chris Hankinson(Wigan/London)

Ben Reynolds(Leigh)

Jack Hansen (Swinton)

Mitch Cox(Swinton)

Frankie Halton(Fev)

Plus several more that went on to appear at championship/league 1 level.

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  • Glensider changed the title to RL decision on Academies
  • John Drake changed the title to Academy Licensing (2022 - 27) - (Merged threads)

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